A Christian Liberal Arts University, Est. 1846

Professors’ new roles provide significant opportunities for English students

  • By: Meredith Sell
  • Published: Sep 29, 2015 4:15PM

Two faculty members of the Taylor University English Department have stepped into roles that will provide students with unique opportunities for professional, artistic, and scholarly development.

Dr. Colleen Warren, Professor of English, recently became Vice President of the Flannery O’Connor Society, a scholarly society that encourages and supports literary study of the Southern American writer. As part of her new role, Warren, whose graduate thesis focused on O’Connor’s works, now manages and edits the society’s blog and newsletter. This connection provides Taylor students with the distinct opportunity to gain research, interview, and writing experience by contributing to the society’s publications.

Daniel Bowman Jr., Associate Professor of English, is the new Editor-in-Chief of Relief Journal, a national literary journal of art and faith. Relief publishes creative work—written and visual—that wrestles with the difficult and ugly parts of the human experience while extolling the good, beautiful, and true.

Bowman, who served as Relief’s fiction editor for the previous year, is bringing the journal’s operations to Upland. Students will be able to participate in the publication’s production through a yearlong class that the English department plans to start next fall. Relief will maintain its remote staff of genre editors, while students will gain a spectrum of experience by representing the journal on social media, reading and editing pieces, and interacting directly with authors, editors, and potential subscribers.

“I did this in graduate school on a fellowship,” Bowman said. “It’s very rare for an undergraduate to have that level of access to a national journal at a small liberal arts college … You could easily be reading some of these [writers’] books in your classes and, that same week, be on the phone with them talking about a certain line in a poem.”

Bowman plans to expand the journal’s readership and contributor base. Student involvement will play a crucial role in these efforts—and the experience students gain will build on an already strong campus literary culture displayed in Parnassus, Taylor’s student-run literary journal.

“I’m excited to be able to help usher Relief into its fullest expression,” Bowman said. “We have people on this campus every year who are deadly serious about writing and love literature—to me, this ties right in with that.”